I recently read an article with a substantial amount of merit to it, regarding broadheads and their effectiveness. The debate being, are fixed blade broadheads better than mechanicals, or vice versa? Over the course of decades, the study results indicated that mechanical blades had a higher recovery rate than fixed blades. So, what does this mean?
I have always been a huge fan of fixed blade broadheads for one reason; you knew they were going to cut. I was a die-hard fan of the N.A.P Razorback 3s or 5s broad heads. These blades were molded into a spinning ferule, allowing the arrow to keep spinning even after the broadhead hit the animal, resulting in awesome penetration and virtually no wind drag. Over the years, technology advanced in the archery world and the Razorbacks were phased out, leaving me with a broadhead dilemma. Which ones do I shoot now?
The fact that I could no longer get these broadheads, made me reevaluate what I was carrying in my quiver. Mechanical broadheads were relatively new to the archery scene and this is where I entered the realm of expandable broadheads. I certainly had my doubts as to their capabilities and durability, like most hard core bowhunters at that time, but I was going to give them a shot.
The very first mechanical that I ever purchased, was the Rocket Steelhead. They were compact, they had three, thick, solid steel blades and a tiny elastic that held the blades closed. There was no earthly way that these simple broadheads would not open on impact. The only downside to them and my initial opinion, was the fact that they only had a 1 1/8 inch cutting diameter, which isn’t a very big hole, when we are talking big game hunting and blood trails.
I gave the Steelheads the old college try and had several opportunities over the first couple of seasons, to really see how well they performed. They flew like darts. They were extremely accurate and very rarely did I ever have a blade break when striking any bone. Their low profile made them zip through deer with ease, offering pass-through shots the majority of the time. Much to my surprise, the blood trails were not bad, despite the smaller cutting diameter. Virtually every animal that I shot, I was able to watch them fall. These mechanicals were the real deal. I was sold.
To this day, I still shoot mechanicals and I was heart- broken to see the Steelheads go the way of the Razorbacks. Since then, I have tried several of the other big name mechanical broadheads. Some I liked and some I have found to be more hype than dependable. I did find two that I really like and both are very similar to the Rockets that I first started out with. Grim Reaper’s Fatal Steel is almost identical to the Steelhead, minus the rubber band O-ring with an added shock absorbing blade spring. These have proven to be awesome broadheads during my search for a new arrowhead. The other head that I shoot, is the newer Slick Trick Raptor trick. Both of these heads are low profile, hit hard and zip through animals, all while creating solid blood trails. Technology only keeps getting better, when it comes to broadhead design. Not only in the mechanical world but the fixed blades as well.
There is no doubt that this topic has been the center of controversy for archers around the world, since the inception of mechanicals. However, science doesn’t lie. For anyone interested in reading the study go to www.qdma.com/high-deer-recovery-rates-fixed-blade-mechanical-broadheads
As I mentioned in the beginning, the study has proven mechanical heads to have a higher recovery rate on game animals, which is what we all strive for. However, with that being said, broadhead choice is a matter of personal preference. It all boils down to where your shot placement is. Any broadhead will kill an animal, if it is hits the vitals. The difference between the two is nothing more than a matter of choice. Fixed or Mechanical, you decide.